My favorite thing about watching “bad” movies with my friends is when we accidentally find one that’s really well made. It’s such a nice surprise. Like when you expect that something will taste sour but instead get a mouthful of sweet nectar. On the surface BAD BEN looks like it should be perfect for a bad movie night. It’s very low budget, it’s made by someone who is arguably an amateur, and it’s one of the many imitators following in the footsteps of the found footage genre that The Blair Witch Project catapulted into popularity. However, I enjoyed the hell out of this. Yeah, it’s got a few rough edges, but if you’ve ever read any of my previous reviews you should know by now that I like it rough.
It seems like 2023 is going to be the beginning of a period where studios are taking big risks on smaller indie films and getting back big returns. I’m glad because this allows films like “The Outwaters” to get out there to horror audiences. I’m not sure I can safely say that Robbie Banfitch’s found footage horror film re-invents the wheel, but it’s a definite abstract bit of cosmic horror that will provoke a ton of debates from the audience.
The newest installment of the “V/H/S/” series was a welcome treat for me back in 2022, as I have always been a fan of the film series. With the popularity of lo-fi analog horror, “V/H/S/” can still have some good shelf life, and spin some damn good horror segments down the line. “V/H/S/ 99” sadly stumbles here and there in what is probably the weakest entry of the movie series to date. The great segments outweigh the weaker entries, but that’s not saying too much when even the better segments aren’t really as spectacular as something like “Safe Haven” from “V/H/S/ 2.” Even the framing device for the segments never quite comes full circle, in the end.
On Sunday Streams, we will be bringing you films that are available for streaming. This week’s offering comes courtesy of new Cinema Crazed contributor Kirstie Keeton who you might remember as one of our Women in Horror Month interviewees in the past.
It was only a matter of time before someone explored the more advanced world of stalking on film. What with the technological advancements, stalking no longer requires following a person and sending letters, now it’s as easy as installing hidden cameras, and using easily affordable technology, all of it at your finger tips; and available at low prices. Director Eric Nicholas begins his film on a rather unsettling note, as our predator Doug, a rather awkward man, walks around the city with his camera in his bag, catching glimpses of women in their most candid.
“Back Rooms” was born from the digital age, among the 4Chan and Creepypasta realms. It’s a pocket within our world that is completely cut off from the rest of what we could rationally consider reality. It is a series of endless rooms and hallways that stretch for a nigh infinite space, all of which are typically a noxious yellow, completely void of any life, and filled with the annoying, deafening hum of florescent lights. I’m only vaguely familiar with the meme of the Back Rooms, but it’s been widely circulated and explored much in the vein of other digital legends like the Slenderman and Sirenhead.
A famous online prankster goes on a trip with his girlfriend and a friend where he intents on proposing. As things go on, something definitely not right is going on. As things escalate, the party responsible may not be who they expect.
“V/H/S/94” comes at just the right time in just the right climate. Right now the found footage sub-genre is experiencing a small resurgence, while Analog Horror/ARG’s is all the rage on Youtube right now (e.g. “Local 58”). Horror fans love being immersed in to alternate realities and “V/H/S/94” offers up a bevy of original, creepy, bizarre, and damn scary tales that re-introduces us to a horrifying world where the darkest demons can only be found on VHS. It keeps true to its roots though, bringing back Simon Barrett and Timo Tjahjanto for another great go around.